This Electric Hydrofoil Is Currently Being Tested in New Zealand

Vessev has big plans for this boat

Vessev Hydrofoil
Vessev's VS—9 takes to the water.

Cars, trucks and SUVs aren’t the only kind of electric vehicles making their mark on the landscape right now. In fact, some of the electric vehicles making their way from place to place aren’t doing so on land at all. That isn’t to say that there aren’t some overlaps between the two as well — including a luxury electric vessel developed in conjunction with Maserati. And just as there are high-performance electric vehicles running on roads, their aquatic counterparts are also showing plenty of promise on the water.

Tests are now underway in New Zealand for Vessev’s VS—9, an electric hydrofoil that’s capable of traveling of speeds up to 25 knots with a range of 50 nautical miles. While this craft can convey up to 10 passengers from place to place, Vessev is seeking to use the lessons learned from its design to make something larger as well.

In announcing the VS—9, Vessev also pointed out that the technology behind this boat makes for a smoother ride than one might expect for a relatively small ship. This comes in part from design lessons learned from boats that have competed in America’s Cup, both in terms of passenger comfort and in navigating windy and choppy environments.

Vessev also has its sights on applying this technology on a bigger level. “The benefits of the VS—9 scale up to larger vessels,” said Vessev CEO Eric Laakmann. “We are already working to develop the VS—18, a 100-passenger vessel using the same technology and design of the VS—9, which will have additional seakeeping capability and unlock even more opportunities.”

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When testing of the VS—9 is complete, Vessev will work with the ferry operator Foster360 to bring the ship into regular use. “The VS—9 combines the first fully electric passenger vessel to operate in Auckland with the latest hydrofoiling technology to deliver premium tourism experiences,” said Fullers360 CEO Mike Horne. “Our understanding is there are currently no electric hydrofoiling vessels certified for commercial tourism use in the world and the testing done here in New Zealand will set a new standard for bringing this new class of vessel into service globally.”

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